65 AND OLDER

MAKE YOUR LIFE COUNT
 
Every second of your life is significant, and you choose how you will spend it. Join us as we discover God’s purpose for our lives, how He can forever change the way we live, and how we have been empowered to impact the lives of the people around us. God created us to do so much more than merely exist – He created us to leave a legacy!
 
UPCOMING EVENTS
 

If you would like to receive the monthly Legacy Newsletter, or register for any of these events, contact Pastor Frank at frank.catanzaro@gracebc.org

 

May 12, 2022 

News reports can be quite discouraging these days. So much is happening around the world and in our country as well. Protests and anger seem to be the words of the day here. Around the world the tension grows as war is present. It all can make us forget (senior moment) the most important thing in our lives. God is King and that should give us cause for rejoicing. 

There’s an old hymn written by Charles Wesley that reminds us, 

Rejoice, the Lord is King: Your Lord and King adore! 

Rejoice, give thanks and sing, And triumph ever-more: 

Lift up your heart, lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say, rejoice! 

His kingdom cannot fail, He rules o’er earth and heav’n; 

The keys of death and hell Are to our Jesus given: 

Lift up your heart, lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say, rejoice! 

What a great reminder for us in troubled times of the fact that in rejoicing there is the affirmation that God is our King and has our lives in His control. We are reminded by Paul in Philippians 4 to, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” And this is not a mindless rejoicing. It is mindful of the one in whom is our strength and steadfastness. We trust in Him and in that we are rejoicing. It is not of ourselves, our performance or goodness…it is really all about Him 

In that same chapter, Paul gives us the formula for living it out. He wrote, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” The key is a mindset. Did you see it? He said, “dwell on these things.” Dwelling on something takes place in the mind. We make a conscious decision to focus our attention on Him and the things the He deems important. That list above clarifies it for us. The result is in the previous verse which says, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” And there it is. Peace in the midst of the storm that is this world. Don’t let our “senior moments” keep us from remembering the most important thing. God loves us…He is with us…and He has a plan for our lives. 

Father, thank you that we are not in this world alone. Thank you for being with us in every moment and for guiding us on the path that You have chosen. Help to live faithfully according to Your plan so that people might see Jesus in us. 

Blessings, 

Pastor Frank 

May 4, 2022

 

Inspired by Psalm 103 and Psalm 150, the German hymn written in 1680, records these powerful words:

 

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation! 

O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation!

All ye who hear, Now to his temple draw near;

Praise him in glad adoration.

 

Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore him!

All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before him.

Let the Amen Sound from hi people again,

Gladly for aye we adore him.

 

Singing songs of praise is an appropriate response to all that God has done for us.  In these days of great turmoil here and around the world, praise pleases our God and is a blessing in our own lives as it reminds us that we are His and that He has a plan for us.  Don’t take that for granted since you have probably heard it time and time.  He is real and He loves us and gives us a purpose for being here.  With wars around the world and great outcries in our own country relative to politics and social change, we need to remind ourselves concerning our God and what He is able to accomplish…and much of it through us.  So we must pray and act according to His will and without fear.

 

Psalm 150 says, Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty expanse.  Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.  Praise Him with trumpet sound; Praise Him with harp and lyre.  Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.  Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with resounding cymbals.  Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord!

 

Wow!! It is an amazing reminder of our posture before the Lord.  It is a posture of praise and thanksgiving.  In the midst of war, when our own country seems to be trending dangerously away for God Himself, we stand firm in praise and according to His plan for our lives.

 

Be sure today, to thank Him for all He has done and for His Word that gives us direction and teaches us His ways.

 

Thank You, Lord for your faithfulness and goodness to us in these days.  We praise You for all Your mighty deeds.  We praise You for giving us Your Son that we might be saved.  What a blessing!  Thank You, Father.

 

Blessings,

 

Pastor Frank

April 21, 2022

Today is Thursday and on Wednesday I was supposed to write this article…but I forgot.  It was a Senior Moment.  I was so busy with my preparation for the study of Revelation that I forgot.  Or did I?  Maybe I just put off until tomorrow what needed to be done today because I put aside the importance of all that God has called me to do.  Now I know that writing is not the most important thing in the world…but it is part of the ministry that God has placed in my life.  So, what is more important?  The answer is everything. Everything that God has given us to attend is important and we should never take lightly the things that He has placed before us.

He would never do that for sure.  He is great and He is good and He never gives us His second best.  He loves us and has demonstrated it in every way. His greatness is demonstrated in an old hymn that we used to sing frequently.  It was originally written in 1886.

O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder Consider all the worlds thy hands have made,

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed,

 

And when I think that God, his Sone not sparing, Sent him to died, I scarce can take it in;

That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin;

 

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee; How great though art, how great though art!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee; How great thou art, how great thou art!

 

In our study through the book of Revelation, we have caught glimpses of just how great He is, especially as we see John’s reaction to what he is being allowed to see.  The lightening and thunder of chapter 4, and the living creatures and 24 elders who continually worship.  What an amazing scene.

 

Our lives, too, should be focused on worship.  I don’t think that most Christians really understand that worship should be continual…on our minds every minute of the day.

1 Corinthians 10:31 teaches us that His glory should be the motivation for all that we do.  That is worship because when we engage in obedience it brings Him glory and we participate in worship.  It’s really quite simple.  Walk in obedience…bring Him glory…we have worshipped. 

 

Father, thank you for every opportunity we are given to honor You.  May we fulfill the responsibility that You have given us daily to participate in the ministry to which each of us has been called.  Help us to see and know and do Your will minute by minute.  And when we fail, may we not make excuses, but confess and repent and move in a direction that is consistent with your will. Amen.

 

God bless you and I pray that our obedience would be evident for all to see and that God would use that to draw many unto Himself.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank

April 13, 2022

 

As we think about this Resurrection Sunday, let us reflect upon the words written by Charles Wesley in 1744.

 

Rejoice, the Lord is King: Your Lord and King adore!

Rejoice, give thanks and sing, And triumph ever-more:

Lift up your heart, lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

 

Jesus, the Savior, reigns, The God of truth and love;

When he had purged our stains, He took his seat above:

Lift up your heart, lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say rejoice!

 

Rejoice in glorious hope! Our Lord and judge shall come,

And take his servants up to their eternal home:

Lift up your heart, lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

 

And in Philippians 4:4, we read, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” As we approach our times of worship and the celebration of the resurrection of our Savior, let us rejoice in the life that He has given us.  As we sing songs and read Scripture and hear the Word of God proclaimed, may we remember why we are here in the first place…because He is Risen.  He is Risen Indeed!!

 

And not only is He risen, but He will also return in the clouds one day and the dead in Christ shall rise and then those of us who remain will be “caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

 

This is the message that we have to share with the world.  So many around us are lost, without hope, and need to hear the truth that we have to offer. The world is in such a mess today and consumed by fear…disease…crime…war…economic catastrophe…and on it goes. But we can live in peace knowing that our Lord has all of this and that He has a plan for us.  Now remember that His plan does not always mean relative ease for us.  There will be trial.  But He is faithful to be with us in the middle of the trial.  I am so grateful.

 

So in these days, let us encourage one another and remember to whom we belong.  I look forward to seeing many of you this weekend.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank

April 6, 2022  

 

Tonight, in our study of Revelation, we look at the church at Thyatira found in Revelation 2:18-29.  The overall characteristic of this church was that they tolerated sin to the exclusion of God’s will.  There was a lot going on there and most of it was completely inconsistent with who God had called them to be in that time.  The larger problem is that churches throughout history have overlooked and tolerated sin just like the folks at Thyatira.  They began listening to a false teacher and while they probably were offended at first, it was just easier to go along rather than confront the sin and the pain that it would cause.

 

But you see, that’s the way it seems to go.  As sin creeps in, it becomes more and more difficult to confront as time goes by.  It takes a keen sense of awareness and boldness to prevent the slide that comes as a result of being desensitized to the sin that naturally comes in.  That’s the way Satan’s crowd works…they don’t stand in the open and announce that they are bad and should be followed.  No, they take their time and speak softly and try to convince us that the bad things are not so bad, and the good things are not so good.  If you don’t think that your mind can be changed relative to the “goodness” or “badness” of something, you are wrong.  Time and the relentless nature of the tempter can have a slow but sure impact on the way that we think.  Beware!!

 

In these times of stress, we need to be on guard for those temptations, and the tendency to fear and react.  Acting in a fashion that is consistent with who we are might not be easy, but you can be sure that if we react outside of our identity that we will fall.  It happened many years ago in Thyatira, and it can happen here today. 

 

There is a hymn from 1944, that reminds us of the truth…

 

In times like these you need a Savior, In times like these you need an anchor;

Be very sure, be very sure Your anchor holds and grips the solid Rock!

 

In times like these you need the Bible, In times like these O be not idle;

Be very sure, be very sure Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

 

This Rock is Jesus, yes, he’s the One; This Rock is Jesus, The only One!

Be very sure, be very sure Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

 

In Matthew 7:24-25, Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.”  Let’s remember who that true Rock is and stand with Him, not forgetting His truth but walking in the path that He has laid.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank

March 23, 2022 

One of my greatest “Senior Moments” and possibly one yours as well, was when we were kids and our mom or dad told us to do something that we really didn’t want to do. So, we sort of did it and then became interested in something outside or in another part of our room and quickly engaged in that. The problem was that we didn’t complete what we were told to do. Possibly not because of being disobedient, but mostly because we were distracted by something that seemed to be more interesting at the time. 

Now that we are adults, hopefully we are a little more attentive to the tasks at hand and have a better handle on priorities relative to importance. Hopefully. But probably not always. Maybe not even most of the time. Could we possibly be worse now than we were as children?? 

Our study in Revelation is very revealing about just that very thing. In five of the seven churches, we read how the Lord compliments them but then reveals what is problematic. The problems (sins) are explained…this is what I asked you to do, and this is what you did…and then in each case the Lord says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Every time…even to the ones He did not rebuke…same thing. 

He is essentially saying the same thing that your mom or dad said when they came to your room and saw that you did not accomplish the task at hand and asked you, “Did you not hear what I asked you to do?” Now that question was always asked with the understanding that you either ignored, forgot, or deliberately disobeyed the request. The Lord is the same way except He knows our hearts and knows the true answer. And forgetting might be just as bad as deliberately disobeying if the ask is consistent with faithfully pursuing God’s purpose for our lives because it reveals our priorities and those might not be consistent with a love relationship with Him. 

There is a great old hymn that should serve as reminder for children and adults relative to our responsibility before the Lord. It says, 

When we walk with the Lord In the light of His Word 

What a glory He sheds on our way! Let us do His good will; He abides with us still, 

And with all who will trust and obey. 

Then in fellowship sweet We will sit at His feet 

Or we’ll walk by is side in the way; What He says we will do, Where He sends we will go; Never fear, only trust and obey. 

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way To be happy in Jesus, But to trust and obey. 

What a great reminder to walk by faith and to just simply obey. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says…” 

Lord, thank you for speaking to us through Your Spirit and your Word. May we listen and act accordingly. 

Blessings to you… 

Pastor Frank 

March 16, 2022

 

I can vividly remember, over 21 years ago, taking off from the Bangkok airport in Thailand at about 6:00 AM after having spent 10 days or so involved in ministry there.  We were heading home early that morning and I was very tired and beginning about a 7-hour flight to Tokyo and then another 13 hours to Detroit, before making the final flight down to North Carolina where we were living at the time.  It was going to be a very long day, but we were looking forward to being home at the end of it all.

 

We took off over the South China Sea and the sun was beginning to come over the horizon.  There were hundreds of fishing boats reflecting the sun below and we were in that giant 747 powering higher and higher.  What a tremendous roar that aircraft makes as it ascends into the heavens.  It was a crystal-clear day and I looked out of that aircraft window, and I saw the beautiful, blazing sun just above the vast expanse of the ocean below us. 

 

I was sitting by the window which was a little unusual when my family was traveling with me, and I reached across Teresa and pulled my son nearer and told him to look at the beautiful sight.  It was truly unusual; I guess because of our altitude and because of the clarity of the sky on that particular day.  I have to tell you…I was moved by what I saw…truly. 

 

And along with what I felt emotionally, a thought occurred to me in that moment.  It was from Psalm 24.  It says, “The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.”  I sensed at that moment a very real truth.  All that I could see…the hundreds of miles of ocean, the hundreds of fishing and other boats, and then the beauty and glory of that ball of fire blazing in the sky so many miles away.  The thought came to mind that while God created all that I could see in that moment and so much more, that He loved me and knew me. 

 

I was thinking about that experience this morning as I was preparing to come to the office and begin my day.  Besides all that He has created and knows, He love you and me and He knows us intimately…better than we know ourselves.  It’s amazing!  In spite of all the turmoil in the world today, God knows the beginning from the end and He cares about us.  Trust Him today.  Give Him your life and know that He is your Lord and Savior. 

 

That event also reminds me of a hymn from 1828…it says,

 

When morning gilds the skies, My heart awaking cries, May Jesus Christ be praised!

Alike at work and prayer, To Jesus I repair; May Jesus Christ be praised.

 

The night becomes as day, When from the heart we say, May Jesus Christ be praised!

The pow’rs of darkness fear, When this sweet song they hear, May Jesus Christ be praised.

 

In heav’n’s eternal bliss The love-liest strain is this, May Jesus Christ be praised!

Let earth, and sea, and sky From depth to height reply, May Jesus Christ be praised.

 

Blessings to you…

 

Pastor Frank

March 10, 2022

I had a “Senior Moment” last week and forgot to write the “Senior Moment.”  I’m confused.  I should find something or someone to blame it on, but I can’t.  It was my fault. I was busy doing other things…good things…but not the thing that I was supposed to be doing on Wednesday morning.  I almost did it again this week…I’m writing on Thursday morning. Have you ever been guilty of that?  I think that sometimes the Lord must be frustrated with us when He sees us doing good things that are not the things that He has called us or desires us to do. 

 

The interesting thing to me is that Jesus, our example, did everything right on time.  When it was time to work, He worked.  When it was time to rest, He rested…until they woke Him up with some fearful request.  We’re all going to die!!!  No, they weren’t…Jesus was in the boat…asleep…but in the boat.  And this is what we need to remember…Jesus is in the boat with us, and we are never on a path where He is not there. Now that does not mean that there will never be danger or challenges.  It just means that He is with us. Matthew 28:20 says, “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” He’s always with us.  We just must focus on the task at hand.  What do I need to do today that will bring glory to Him?  Not, how can I accomplish this “to do” list because it will drive me crazy if I don’t get all of this done.  Being performance driven will only lead to frustration.  God is not evaluating us based on the quality of our performance, but on the depth of our commitment to Him and what He has called us to do. Just obey and spend less time evaluating performance.

 

In Revelation 1, when John was laying on the ground like a dead man in front of the Savior dressed in white with fire in His eyes and a two edged sword coming out of His mouth, I doubt John was thinking about his penmanship when the Lord was telling him what to write. Obedience was on his mind!!

 

Do you remember this hymn?

 

            Have thine own way, Lord!  Have thine own way! Thou art the potter, I am the clay!

            Mold me and make me  After thy will, While I am waiting, Yielded and still.

 

            Have thine own way, Lord!  Have thine own way! Hold o’er my being  Absolute sway!

            Fill with thy Spirit   Till all shall see  Christ only, always, Living in me.

 

His will…His way is all about which we need to have concern.  Walk faithfully and live wisely to His glory and your life will be blessed and rich in these days.

 

Father, thank you for Your faithful goodness to us throughout our lives.  Our desire is to be obedient to you and fulfill Your plan and purpose for our lives today.  Help us to not be driven by performance desires but to only walk faithfully with You.

 

Blessings to you,

 

Pastor Frank

 

February 24, 2022

 

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:15, “I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls…”  In other words, Paul was more concerned about the souls of others than he was for his own well-being. Earlier in this same chapter, he was talking about his thorn in the flesh and how it was his desire that it be removed from him. But he came to the conclusion that instead of being focused on comfort he was more interested in being obedient to what God had called him to do.

 

The question then becomes, how about our own lives? Are we focused primarily on the comfort of ourselves? Or is our primary focus on those in our circle and their eternal security?  Possibly, we are the only ones that can reach them for Christ.  Now I realize that God can do anything He wants to do as far as confronting these people with His Gospel, but here we are.  Are we going to waste the opportunity?

 

We always seem to have an excuse for our own failure to act.  “I might say the wrong thing, I might say something stupid, they know too much about me,” and the list can go on and on.  Sometimes we blame it on a lack of knowledge and understanding of the Bible.  Well, we all know what to do about that.  I have found that a quick prayer asking the Holy Spirit to give me words and the right timing is a great encouragement.  I rely on Him to guide my words and my intentions, and I’ve been amazed at how He will use my willingness when I feel weak.  Make yourself available and see what happens. 

 

Here’s an old hymn that reiterates the challenge…

 

Lord, lay some soul upon my heart, and love that soul thro’ me;

And may I bravely do my part to win that soul for thee.

 

Lord, lead me to some soul in sin, and grant that I may be,

Endued with pow’r and love to win that soul, dear Lord, for thee.

 

Some soul for thee, some soul for thee, this is my earnest plea;

Help me each day, on life’s highway, to win some soul for thee.

 

I was reminded of this even last night as we began our study of Revelation.  How important is it for all of us to think of those who come for this study and wonder if some are seeking Christ there?  I’ve purposed to be evangelistic in my presentations for this study and would ask that you be sensitive to those around you who might need encouragement to trust Christ.

 

Lord, thank you for the testimony of Paul and his willingness to pour himself out for the mission that You gave him.  May we do the same.  Thank you for being with us in each opportunity to guide and inform.  Make us fruitful followers.

 

Blessings,

 

Pastor Frank

February 16, 2022

 

Last week I talked about justification from Romans 5, and that fact that He has declared us to be His and it’s through faith and His grace that gives us this status.  We cannot earn it or perform our way into it, because He is perfect, and we are not.

 

Now some of us have a hard time receiving what God is giving.  In our arrogance we think that we have something that He needs or that we can do something that will be so impressive that He will overlook our sin and just…forget about it.  Not happening. 

 

What we really need to do is to learn what He has said about our sin and receive it and apply His truth to our lives so that we can walk in a fashion that is consistent with His will and not some concoction of an idea that we have developed to try and justify the awful thing that we have done. (How’s that for a run-on sentence?)  People want to talk about forgiving yourself, but you are going to be hard pressed to find that in the Bible.  Let me save you some time…you won’t find it.  Rather than trying to placate our feelings about sin, why don’t we just accept what He says about it and walk in a fashion that is consistent with His will. 

 

Isaiah 43:18-19, says, “Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.  Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it?”  In other words, don’t focus on the bologna of the past because God has moved on and will do something new and you will completely miss it because you are still worried about that thing that you did.  Even though you have confessed it and have been forgiven long ago, it still is in your mind, and you think there is something that you can do about it now.  Stop it!!  If you confessed and repented, He has forgiven, and it’s done.  Talk about a “Senior Moment!!” 

 

And here is another thing.  God is not going to chase you down smack you in the head to remind you to stop doing this.  Take Him at His word.  If He says you are forgiven, then you are.  It doesn’t matter how you feel or what you even think.  God forgives…time to move on.

 

In 1896, Palmer Hartsough wrote,

 

I am resolved to follow the Savior, Faithfull and true each day;

Heed what he sayeth, do what he willeth, He is the living way.

 

I will hasten to him, hasten so glad and free, Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to thee.

 

And that’s exactly what we need to do…follow the Savior, listen to what He says, and do what He tells us to do.  Peace.

 

Father, thank you for giving us your Word and revealing to us your way.  May we accept the forgiveness that you offer and walk in a fashion that’s worthy of it.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank

February 9, 2022

 

Romans 5:1 – 2 says, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” Wow!! What a fantastic passage and filled with such truth.  There are three major points for us to consider in this passage.  Sounds like a sermon…😊 

 

First, we are justified.  Not working on justification, not aiming for justification…justified.  It’s done.  The Greek work here for justified is dikaióō. It means to bring out the fact that a person is righteous. It’s done…it’s settled and sealed by God and His declaration.  And you notice that this justification is the result of faith. 

 

Second, that justification by faith produces peace with God through Jesus.  Now this is where the “Senior Moment” might come into play.  Remember those moments are usually accidental and cause some discomfort or embarrassment.  Sometimes we forget that we are at peace with God.  That’s when we start to perform or try to meet some performance standard in which God might be impressed on some level.  Stop it!!  We have peace with God in Jesus.  You can’t perform well enough to impress Him.  Rest in His declaration…”you are justified.” 

 

And third, we were introduced to this wonderful truth by faith and as a result have entered into Grace.  And we stand in this because of Who He is and what He has done on our behalf.  Don’t minimize the profundity of this gift by trying to impress Him or work in some way to receive it.  He gives it not because we have earned it or deserve it in some way…it is an expression of mercy and grace. 

 

And because of all of that, we should live grateful lives before Him.  Not just to please Him, but living that way makes us more useful for His purposes in this world.  Are you allowing Him to live through you and your obedience?

 

Is your life a channel of blessing? Is the love of God flowing thro’ you?

Are you telling the lost of the Savior?  Are you ready His service to do?

 

Is your life a channel of blessing?  Is it daily telling for Him?

Have you spoken the word of salvation To those who are dying in sin?

 

Make me a channel of blessing today, Make me a channel of blessing I pray;

My life possessing, my service blessing, Make me a channel of blessing today.

 

This old hymn is a great prayer for us to consider.  Are we allowing the Lord to use us as He desires?  Or are we trying to impress Him and others with how spiritual we are?  Don’t fail the test.  Give your whole life to Him for His purpose.

 

Thank You for loving us and caring for us at all times.  Thank You for allowing us to be a part of Your plan in this world.  We want to be faithful.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank

February 2, 2022

 

In Romans, chapter 10, we read about the “word of faith” that Paul was preaching.  That’s how he described it.  And here’s what that word of faith is…”that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” What that tells us is that religion won’t cut it.  If one wants to be in Heaven for eternity, being religious won’t get you there.  So, being good, being a member of the best church in town, being generous, being honest, being a good neighbor…none of that will help you.  The answer is found in those verses above. It’s not that difficult to understand but you would be amazed at how many people, when asked about their own salvation, will give you an answer that’s based on what they have done and not on Who they have trusted.  It’s amazing. And sad.  God has given us His word and in it is revealed the only way to know Him…and people are deceived into believing that they can do it on their own.  Talk about the ultimate “Senior Moment.”  But it’s not…it’s willful rebellion against the clearly communicated will of God that is the only way to be saved!!

 

I’ve talked before about these moments we have and how they are accidental and never meant to be hurtful in any way and are sometimes embarrassing.  What I’m talking about here is willful rebellion because we think, in our arrogance, that we don’t have to submit…we can just be good enough. Anyone who thinks they are good enough for God based on their own performance is living in a fantasy world. It’s like Eve in the garden eating the fruit because she has been deceived into believing that when she does, she will be like God.  Sorry.  She just became disobedient and brought death into the world.  And we are not different.  We have been deceived into believing that we can be good enough on our own to be acceptable to God.  Again…sorry.  It’s just not going to happen. 

 

Last week I talked to you about grace and how wonderful His grace is.  Christ died for us knowing what tremendous sinners we would be and then extending His grace in such a way that we can be saved.  What an amazing act of kindness!! 

 

Today’s hymn says…

 

Years I spent in vanity and pride, Caring not my Lord was crucified,

Knowing not it was for me he died on Calvary.

 

By God’s Word at last my sin I learned, Then I tremble at the law I’d spurned,

Till my guilty soul imploring turned to Calvary.

 

Mercy there was great, and grace was free; Pardon there was multiplied to me,

There my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary.

 

That’s it!! Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart.  He will save you.  Stop strutting and struggling to impress Him.  He loves you.  He will save you.

 

Father, thank you for the gift of salvation.  Help us to see that it is all of You and that we can have it by faith. Thank you for loving us when we are so unlovable. 

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank

January 26, 2022

 

In the book of Romans, in the third chapter, and in verses 23 & 24, the Bible tells us, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” You know, our church is named “Grace,” and I’m really grateful for that.  It should be a continuous reminder of God’s grace toward us.  We see it in the verses I just wrote from Romans.  Don’t ever forget that it’s by God’s grace that we are justified in the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.  Apart from that grace, we are in very big and eternal trouble.  Thank you, Jesus, for extending grace to us who have believed and allowing us to be called Your children.  I am so grateful.

 

One of the dangers of life is walking with an expectation of grace without the appropriate response to the offer.  We must believe and receive before the blessing of grace can become a reality in our lives.  This might be the ultimate “senior moment.”  Oh, I forgot that I had to make a commitment…I thought I was in because my parents were believers or because I’ve attended a church for the past 40 years. The problem is, if we don’t receive His grace through faith, it will not extend to us.  We must exercise faith in order to receive the gift of grace. Don’t count on your goodness (we don’t have any), or your magnanimous personality to get you where you want to be.  It’s just faith…it’s just commitment…it’s just believing in what Jesus has said.  You see we need to come to Him without thinking that we have anything to offer…without thinking that we have something He needs.  We don’t.  He created the universe without our help, and His abilities have not diminished since. 

 

The hymn reminds us…

 

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt,

Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured, There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.

 

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace, Freely bestowed on all who believe;

All who are longing to see his face, Will you this moment his grace receive?

 

Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;

Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin.

 

Have you ever heard of Julia H. Johnston?  You are now wondering, “how did we get from God’s grace to Julia H. Johnston?”  Well, Julia wrote that hymn, and, by the way, 406 other hymns.  Pretty impressive.  But this hymn really hits the nail when talking about infinite, matchless grace…or grace that exceeds our sin and guilt…because we are guilty, and there is no way for us to overcome our guilt on our own…it just can’t happen.  You see, it’s God’s grace that makes the difference. So, my question today is, have you received that grace?  Have you really committed your life to Christ?

 

Father, thank You for the grace that exceeds our sin and guilt.  Thank You for the grace that is infinite and matchless.  What a blessing…what a joy!!  May we walk in a fashion that is consistent with the grace that has been extended to us.

 

Blessings to you.

 

Pastor Frank

January 19, 2022

 

Often, when I pray, I thank the Lord for the reality of His presence in my life.  Sometimes I wonder if that is a true statement or just one that expresses a sentiment that sounds really good. The deficit is with me not with Him. You know, it sounds good for us as Christians to express confidence in God’s presence, but do we really believe that it’s true?  Is God here?  Does He walk with us in a very real fashion? And do we live our lives in such a way that would demonstrate our confidence in His presence?  These are all questions that cause me to pause and think carefully about what I say and how I live. There’s a song that we used to sing frequently that sums this up.  It’s called “Share His Love.” 

 

The love of God is broader than earth’s vast expanse,

‘Tis deeper and wider than the sea.

Love reaches out to all to bring abundant life,

For God so loved the world his only Son he gave.

 

Share his love by telling what the Lord has done for you, Share his love by sharing of your faith,

And show the world that Jesus Christ is real to you every moment, every day.

 

Now it’s that last line that really has meaning.  “And show the world that Jesus Christ is real to you.”  That drives the question…do we do that?  We talk about the reality of Him in our lives, but do we live that reality?  Testimony is so important, but if testimony and our walk don’t match, the testimony becomes meaningless. 

 

1 Timothy 2:5&6, reads “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.” The testimony is consistent with the act.  The Lord came and did what was needed and that was the testimony of His life on earth.  He said what He would do and then did it.  No dispute.  And we, as His followers must do the same.  If we say that He is with us, we must live in a consistent fashion with that statement.  That then becomes our testimony.  It’s an expression of what is true in our lives.

 

Father, I am thankful for the reality of Your presence in our lives.  Thank you for the sacrifice of Jesus that makes it possible for us to walk with You.  I pray today that each of us would take seriously the fact that You are here and live lives that would give consistent testimony of that fact and our faith.  May we truly be real lights in dark places.

 

Blessings to you.

 

Pastor Frank

January 12, 2022

 

I just typed 2022 and did it correctly…but I’ve done it wrong several times already.  Those are “Senior Moments” and they seem to be coming more frequently these days.  I guess I should blame it on COVID or old age or something.  It can’t really be my fault…can it?  Sometimes I must admit that I was simply not paying attention.  But, you know, I’ve been hearing that all of my life!  Even as a child in school, my teachers often challenged me to come back into the room instead of gazing out of some very interesting window.  I suppose I was practicing for “senior moments” at a very early age. 

 

Nowadays, everything that seems to be a deficiency in performance is given a title or some formal description as if we can’t make mistakes, it must be some illness or something.  And it really cannot be sinful in some way because that would make me responsible for my own actions.  God forbid that I would be held accountable for my own actions!  I clearly was mistreated as a child or was denied some attention that would have contributed to a much better outcome!

 

I was listening to a song earlier today that reminded me of Jeremiah 8:22, where he was calling the people to repentance and telling them why things were going so badly.  He even included his own sin in the cause of the calamity.  The song is, “There Is a Balm in Gilead.”  Now some who read this might be thinking, “what is balm and where is Gilead?”  It’s a good question.  Well, in Jeremiah 8:22, it says, “Is there not balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?” Gilead was a place that was known for a certain balm that physicians used from a tree that was native to the region, that was known to bring healing.  And Jeremiah was asking the question, “you know where to go for healing…why don’t you go there?”  Of course, the healing that he is referring to in the passage is the healing from sin.  Go to God, receive forgiveness…but they wouldn’t.  Just like they wouldn’t go to Gilead for the healing that was there.

 

The song says,

 

There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;

There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul.

 

What was true for Israel is true for us.  There is a Physician who wants to bring healing into our lives…but we must go to Him to receive what He has for us.  Don’t look for reasons to explain the mistakes of life…just learn from them.  Face honestly the reasons for deficiencies and trust the Lord for the solution.  He loves us and wants what is best for us…He died for us to prove it.

 

Lord, thank you for the new year and allowing us the privilege to live it.  May we be faithful with the time you have given us.  May we honestly face our deficiencies and sinfulness so that we might receive the true balm that comes only from you.  It’s a balm that heals and restores and brings comfort…true comfort…whatever the need.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank

January 5, 2022

 

Happy New Year!!  It is a great time to reflect on the year that has just ended and consider what the Lord has for us in the year that is just beginning.  There are so many things that are consuming our thoughts these days.  Most of which we have no control over.  The world seems to be on fire and governments are scrambling to figure out what to do next.  It really demonstrates how truly powerless we are.  Those that sit in seats of “power” try to pontificate and criticize their political opponents’ lack of ability, when their own efforts seem to be ineffective as well.  All the time they all seem feckless in their attempts to bring about change that is meaningful.

 

For us as believers, our perspective on all that plagues the world should be different.  The power does not dwell in the halls of governments, it is occupied by our Lord.  He is the only One who can bring change to the world’s situation…to disease…to conflict…to peace.  Only He is the source of solution to mankind’s deepest problems.  It begins with salvation.  Apart from salvation in Christ, we are lost…not just spiritually, but functionally.  Nothing in life makes sense apart from a personal relationship with Christ.  The writer of Ecclesiastes summed it all up in chapter 12, when he said, “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is; fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.  For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden whether it is good or evil.” In spite of this truth, our world seems to live in a fashion that is more consistent with the last phrase in the book of Joshua “…everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”  This is the world in which we live.

 

So, what are we to do?  First, trust Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.  Give Him your life and allow Him to guide you in all things.  Next, pray.  Pray that His power and grace will be seen by the rest of the world, and they too will turn to Him and seek His will and way.  Next, live.  Live in such a fashion that others would be drawn to Him because of your testimony of faith and strength in Christ.  It’s the only hope for the world…that they would surrender to Christ and live His life in this world.  It’s how we have joy in the middle of illness and trial. 

 

The old hymn really sums up our responsibility in the middle of it all…

 

Then live for Christ both day and night, Be faithful, be brave, and true,

And lead the lost to life and light; Let others see Jesus in you.

Let others see Jesus in you, Let others see Jesus in you;

Keep telling story, be faithful and true, Let others see Jesus in you.

 

Wow!  Simple song…profound truth.  In these days of trouble and fear, let others see Jesus in you in a way that is winsome.  In a way that the Lord can use to draw others to Himself.

 

Lord, help us to live in such a way as to communicate our faith in You and our rock solid trust in You to bring us through the storms.  These are stormy days but love You and trust You and are so thankful that You are with us minute by minute.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank

December 22, 2021

Well, this is the last Senior Moment before Christmas and I pray that each of you will have a wonderful and blessed time with friends and family.  What a great time of year as we remember the beginning of our Lord’s life on this planet.  He came that we might have life and have it abundantly.  I trust that is true for you…that you have received Him as your personal Lord and are living in the joy that comes from a life that is hidden in Christ!!

 

We will worship together this Friday evening as we celebrate the Lord’s death until He comes back for us.  That’s right.  Remembering His death at the time of His birth.  You see, it’s all part of the Gospel.  His virgin birth, His life, His death, and His resurrection are all integral parts of the Gospel story.  Don’t ever leave any of it out…it’s the Gospel.  And it’s all miraculous.  God’s plan for our redemption is beyond our ability to comprehend and explain in human terms.  It’s by faith that we believe and receive the truth that we are sinners and cannot save ourselves.  Apart from what God has done in Christ Jesus, we are hopelessly lost.  Praise be to Him that we can have life because of the sacrifice that Christ made on our behalf.  And when He completed His life here on earth, He rose from the dead, defeating death, and making it possible for us to have eternal life.  Praise Him!!

 

So, I hope that as you celebrate the birth of Christ, don’t forget the rest of the story.  There is a hymn that we used to sing frequently when I was younger.  It’s called “O Sing and song of Bethlehem.”  It tells the entire story of Christ.  The last verse is as follows:

 

O sing a song of Calvary, Its glory and dismay;

Of Him who hung upon the tree and took our sins away.

For He who died on Calvary Is risen from the grave,

And Christ, our Lord, by heav’n adored, Is mighty now to save.

 

That verse finishes the story that is begun in verse one:

 

O sing a song of Bethlehem, Of shepherds watching there,

And of the news that came to them From angels in the air.

The light that sone in Bethlehem Fills all the world today;

Of Jesus’ birth and peace on earth The angels sing alway.

 

So with that I will wish you a Merry Christmas and pray that you and your family are truly blessed in these days. 

 

Father, thank you for the blessing of Christmas and the story of Your Son who came and lived and died and lived again that we might have His life…eternal life.  Thank you for this.  I pray that each person who reads this, knows You.  Thank you, Father, for Your perfect expression of love.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank

December 15, 2021

 

There’s an old Christmas Carol that I’ve always liked.  It’s from the 1600’s and is probably why I like it…it’s old and decrepit…😊 It’s really attributed to being about the coming of the wise men and is called “Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light.”  Have you heard of it?  The tune is probably familiar to some degree, but I’m not sure I’ve ever heard it sung in church.  The text, however, is telling.  It says:

 

Break forth, O beauteous heav’nly light, And usher in the morning;

O shepherds, shrink not with affright, But hear the angel’s warning.

The Child, now weak in infancy, Our confidence and joy shall be,

The pow’r of Satan breaking, Our peace eternal making.

 

Break forth, O beauteous heav’nly light, To herald our salvation;

He stoops to earth – the God of might, Our hope and expectation.

He comes in human flesh to dwell, Our God with us, Immanuel,

The night of darkness ending, Our fallen race befriending.

 

It uses words to describe our Lord that are accurate, but at the same time reveal what He actually did as our Savior.  He came as a weak infant but in so doing He broke the power of Satan and provided for us eternal peace with the Father.  He was the God of might but He came in human flesh and ended our night of darkness and made us His friends rather than His enemies.  I talked last week about remembering that His birth and infancy were just a moment in time and that we should not forget His capabilities.

 

He, indeed, stooped to earth, but He never stopped being the God of might.  We should never forget this.  During His entire time on earth, He never acquiesced His power, or His identity as God.  He limited Himself during childhood and by the fact that He was born like we are…but He is God.  During His crucifixion, He allowed those men to do what they did, but He never became less than who He, in fact, was and is today.  It’s an amazing thing to comprehend and I’m not sure that we fully can.  It’s part of the wonder that is represented by who He actually is. I think that in fear we sometimes do this.  In our minds, we make Him less than who He is because we are uncomfortable with His identity.  We redefine Him in a way that makes us more comfortable. He’s the “man upstairs,” “my buddy,” “my friend,” and other anthropomorphistic statements.  We want to make Him like us rather than becoming more like Him. 

 

Romans 13:14, records the commandment, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.”  In other words, become like Him and don’t allow our feelings to dictate the relationship by minimizing His attributes.  We should never forget who we are in comparison to Him.

 

Lord, help us to walk faithfully, meekly, in a fashion that is consistent with whom You have made us to be.  Thank you for coming to earth and giving your life that we might have life.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank

December 8, 2021

 
Is it possible that during this time of the year we become so focused on shepherds, angels, innkeepers, animals in a barn, and even the Baby Himself that we lose sight of the reason behind it all?  It’s the quintessential “senior moment.”  One of the characteristics of those moments is becoming so focused on the noise that is generated, that we lose sight of the most important part of the other more important parts of whatever is going on. That was a confusing statement, but that’s what “senior moments” produce…confusion.

 

Christ with us…for a time on this earth…and now with us through His presence for all eternity. 

Fanny Crosby wrote:

 

All the way my Savior leads me, Cheers each winding path I tread,

Gives me grace for every trial, Feeds me with the living bread;

Tho’ my weary steps my falter, And my soul athirst may be,

Gushing from the Rock before me, Lo! A spring of joy I see;

Gushing from the Rock before me, Lo! A spring of joy I see.

 

He came as a baby, but He grew to be a man, and He lived and He died and He rose again, and is with us forevermore.  The birth of Christ was a moment in time, but the life of Christ is eternal, and He is with us.  He leads us all the way and gives us grace for every trial.  And trials are coming to each of us in a way that He can be glorified as He leads us.  But since our relationship with Him is sealed by His grace and mercy we can trust Him in all things…like the hymn says.  Just think about who wrote the hymn and the challenges of her life. In the third verse of the song she says, All the way my Savior leads me, Oh, the fullness of His love! His love is full and the joy received transcends the trials of this life.

 

Peter, preaching in Acts 3, said, Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. Even in trials, the “times of refreshing” will come from His presence. 

 

Thank you, Father, for the reality of Your presence in our lives.  We are truly grateful that you are with us in every step, on every journey, in every day.  May we live in a way that reflects gratitude and rock-solid faith in what You have done for us.  During this Christmas season help us to remember that Jesus is alive now and not just the baby in the manger.

 

Blessings to you.

 

Pastor Frank

December 1, 2021

 

O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer our spirits by Thine advent here;

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight.

 

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high, and order all things, far and nigh;

To us the path of knowledge show, and cause us in her ways to go.

 

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, of Israel!

 

Advent is upon us.  A time when we think about the celebration of the impending birth of Christ.  It’s a wonderful time…one that should be focused on Christ and what He has done for us.  The words of the hymn above challenge us to be thoughtful about the real importance of His birth.  Death’s dark shadows have been put to flight.  I was thinking about this earlier as one of our dear friends went to be with the Lord.  The dark shadows have been “put to flight” and the glorious recognition of being in the presence of the Lord have replaced the shadows. 

 

The second verse of the hymn talks about “knowledge” and being taught to follow the path of “knowledge.”  Of course, knowledge of God and His ways brings us to a path of peace and faith that changes us into the image of Christ.  What a blessing and what a joy.  When you and I walk in the knowledge of God, we are changed and have the real opportunity to be a blessing and to be used of God for His purpose. Hallelujah!!

 

Sometimes, the rather extended “senior moment” comes into play when we forget who we are and our purpose for being here.  Christmas, strangely enough, is perfect time to do that.  We get so consumed by the world’s values relative to Christmas that forget who we are and what our biblical response to the birth of Christ should be.  It’s a wonderful time for evangelism in that while we are giving gifts to friends and family, we can make the connection to the Gospel and the greatest gift of all.  New birth.  It’s an eternal gift that Christ offers to those who believe.  This Friday, some of you and I will travel to Kentucky to share Christmas gifts with a group of young people.  I will have the opportunity to share the Christmas story from God’s Word and also a testimony of how He has saved and changed my life.  I am grateful for that and look forward to offering those who hear it the possibility of receiving a gift that will never end.  What a joy!!!

 

Luke wrote that the angels declared, “for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”  It is Christ and He is Lord.  Don’t ever forget that.  Christmas has been diminished to gift giving and over-eating, but don’t forget that it marks the incarnational entrance of Christ, the Lord onto the planet.  And He came that you and I might be redeemed for all eternity.  And that…is a big deal.  I am so grateful and will never be the same as a result. I pray God’s richest blessing on each of you who read this.

 

Blessings,

 

Pastor Frank

November 24, 2021

 

It’s Thanksgiving week and many are making big plans for the day…some are traveling, and some are staying close with family and, possibly, friends.  What a great time to be thinking about the blessings of God. I’m not going to go into great detail here about how every day should be Thanksgiving for the believer…you already know that. I am concerned, however, that we do take the daily blessings of life for granted. We have so much more than we need, and God really has promised to provide our needs. So, we are blessed beyond measure.

 

When I think back on the year, with so much sickness and awareness of sickness…God has continued to bless those who are trusting in Him. And even those who don’t trust Him are enjoying the blessings of living in a world created by Him and filled with the provisions that are provided for the believer and unbeliever alike. God gives and gives but He is often ignored and sometimes even scorned. I grieve for those who don’t know Him personally or know of Him but consciously exclude Him from their lives. How sad indeed.

 

So, let’s make sure today that we have it right with the One Who created us. Pastor Bobby has been preaching through Romans 3, which reveals our need for Him in a very clear fashion.  We need Him and there is nothing we can do to make ourselves good enough for Him.  Verse 23 of that chapter makes that clear. Acknowledge you sin and need to Him. God will give to us His salvation but not because we are good or have done the right things to earn it…because no one can do that. We all are sinners and need salvation. It is a gift (see Ephesians 2:8,9), and one that He will give if you come to Him by faith, asking for forgiveness and committing your life to Him, to be a follower of Him for all of your days.  Yes, it’s giving control of your life over to Him…and many of us don’t like that.  We are fiercely independent, and our independence will lead to separation from God if we don’t surrender.  It’s one thing to surrender to an enemy who hates you and everything about you. It’s a completely different thing to surrender to One Who loves you and gave His life for you and has the power to completely transform your life into one of blessing.  God loves you.

 

Remember this old hymn:

 

Just as I am without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me;
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee; Oh, Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive; Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe; Oh, Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 

Believe His promise today and receive the joy of His salvation.

 

Lord, I pray today for many to trust You and follow You. We have so much for which to be thankful, most of all for Jesus and the life that we can have in Him. Thank you, Father, for loving us so much that you gave your Son for our salvation.  We love you and are thankful to You.

 

Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving…

Pastor Frank

November 17, 2021

 

My hope is in the Lord who gave himself for me,

And paid the price of all my sin at Calvary.

 

No merit of my own his anger to suppress,

My only hope is found in Jesus’ righteousness.

 

And now for me he stands before the father’s throne.

He shows his wounded hands, and names me as his own.

 

For me he died, for me he lives, and everlasting life and light he freely gives.

 

Pastor Bobby has been preaching through Romans 3 for the last couple of weeks and it has been a powerful time of teaching and confrontation.  Confrontation in the sense that this passage reveals in graphic detail how sinful I am…it’s hard to think about.  In spite of everything that I might try to do that is good or acceptable to God, the fact is that I always fall short of His high standard.  Perfection. 

 

The good news is, that there is hope.  The hymn above demonstrate clearly that our hope is not in ourselves or our performance…it’s in the Lord.  Praise Him!!!  This is the time of the year that we all focus on Thanksgiving.  Sad.  It should be every day because, “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  Isn’t that amazing?!  And what He accomplished can make us acceptable to God.  I’m so glad because I could never do it on my own…none of us could.

 

This week we will offer hope to 1,000 families by giving away a Thanksgiving meal…but really by offering them hope through salvation by faith in the One Who loves us the most.  I’m looking forward to sharing that time with you.  What a great joy it is to see, hopefully, many come to faith in Christ.  A great time of fellowship for us and a great opportunity for seeing many join the family of faith.

 

Be praying for them, as they come and hear the clear presentation of the Gospel  Be praying for us, that we will be faithful in sharing the Good News of God’s salvation through faith in Christ.  Be watchful for the work of Satan’s helpers as they try to disrupt what God is doing here.  Always prayerful.

 

Father, help us to see the people and their deepest need…You.  Help us to be mindful of that one factor that drives all that we do this week.  Help us to see opportunities to share a Gospel word at a moment’s notice.  Give us wisdom.  Thank you for the forgiveness of sin and life eternal.  May we walk in a fashion that is consistent with our professed faith.

 

Blessings to you.

Pastor Frank

November 10, 2021

 

Thanksgiving.  In November, in particular, the first thing that comes to mind is the holiday that we will celebrate on the 25th.  But Thanksgiving, for the believer, is something that should be on our minds basically all the time. It’s almost a cliche to say that, but it really is the truth. There are so many mundane things that are a part of our everyday thoughtful experience, but is being thankful one of those things? If you think about the random things that are a part of our mindful experience daily and you compare that to the amount of time that we spend being grateful, it really is pretty sad. Just stop right now and for the next 30 seconds think about all the things that have been on your mind today, and I’m talking about every little thing. Was gratitude one of the things? If you answered yes…congratulations… You are one of the very few.

 

But you know, thankfulness is one of the elements of living a peaceful life. Philippians 4:6-7, says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  It’s one thing to bring prayers and petitions before the Lord in times of anxiety or crisis; it’s an entirely different thing to do that with thanksgiving. The result is the peace of God which surpasses comprehension. I can’t understand it, or explain it, but I have peace in the midst the trial.  It does not mean that we are necessarily thankful for the trial, but we are thankful that God hears us in times of trial. And He is with us.

 

One of my favorite hymns says,

 

Shadows around me, shadows above me, Never conceal my Savior and Guide;

He is the light, in Him is no darkness; Ever I’m walking close to His side.

 

Heavenly sunlight, heavenly sunlight, Flooding my soul with glory divine;

Hallelujah, I am rejoicing, Singing His praises, Jesus is mine.

 

Walking in His presence with thanksgiving, brings a peace that is impossible to explain apart from His presence.  Make thankfulness a part of your daily thoughtfulness.  Watch what happens.

 

Lord, thank you for your presence in our lives.  It brings “heavenly sunlight” that goes along the way with us every minute.  Cause thankfulness to be and ever present part of the thoughts of our days so that we might experience the peace that comes from knowing You and being loved by You.  May we glorify You with our lives every day.

 

Blessings to you…

Pastor Frank

 

November 3, 2021 

I was thinking today about sin. Isn’t that an interesting thing to be thinking about? But sin is something we engage in for various reasons. Not good reasons…to fill a desire…because we have been deceived into thinking it’s a good idea…to accomplish something without considering God’s way, but thinking we have it figured out…there are literally hundreds of motivations for sinning. The problem is, it’s always destructive because it is not consistent with the will of God for our lives. Dumb. 

It is idolatry. Anytime that I push my will against what I know to be God’s will for my life it is sinful. And that is me idolizing my desire over God’s. We all do it in one way or another. Sometimes it doesn’t even look like that big of a deal. In our minds we nuance it in a way that makes it seem very small. But even the smallest deviation from the will of God is sin. It is not a little sin…it is sin. It is the thing for which Jesus suffered and died. I have to come to terms with that…my sin contributed to His suffering. How could it be? What I did, what I thought, what I said…it wasn’t that big of a deal…or was it. And these aren’t even “senior moments,” times that I have forgotten who I am…these are times of willful disobedience. 

In Psalm 14:1-3, there is a scathing indictment of us all when God’s Word states: 

“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good. The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.” 

Really depressing when you think about it. We are all in the same boat…trying to be the lord of our own lives when He has reached out to us to give us better. Ephesians 2 says, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us…” What an incredible thought. That in spite of the description in Psalm 14, God reached into our lives and offers us cleansing and salvation, so that we might walk with Him in His path for His glory. What a joy. Let’s not lose sight of it. 

Father, today we are grateful for the great salvation that You have provided…in spite of all that we have done to rebel against You…You offer us forgiveness and salvation. Thank You for this great gift. May we live in a fashion that is consistent with Your will for our lives today. 

Blessings to you, 

Pastor Frank 

October 27, 2021

Were it not for Grace…I can tell you where I’d be…wandering down some pointless road to nowhere with my salvation up to me.  I know how that would go…the battles I would face…forever running but losing the race…were it not for Grace.  Those great words were recorded some years ago by Larnelle Harris and really reflect the truth of where we all are.  Were it not for God’s Grace, we would all be lost and in trouble. 

 

“Senior Moments” are times when we forget things that we know are important and forgetting them seems to be a disadvantage.  Forgetting that it’s God’s Grace that brings us salvation is a severe deficit.  We should never forget this and keep it continually on our minds.  Those thoughts create gratitude and a sense of assurance that our salvation is not up to us.  What a joy.  In Titus 2:11, we read, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desire and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age…” You see, it’s God Who calls us to salvation, provides that salvation and keeps us throughout our lives. My salvation is not determined by my performance. 

 

As we have learned in our study of 1John, performance is the result of salvation, not the genesis of it.  What a joy!! Because, as the song says, if salvation were up to my performance, I would truly be on “a pointless road to nowhere.”  I am so grateful for God’s amazing grace.

 

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
 
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
 
 

That great hymn truly reminds us of how blessed we are.  Thank Him today for the blessing of Grace and the salvation it has brought to us.

 

Thank you, Lord, for grace and for the fact that You have extended it to us.  What a blessing.  My we live in a fashion that demonstrates that we are grateful and that we acknowledge that You are the source of our salvation.  We love You and desire to live our lives for Your glory.

 

Blessings to you…

 

Pastor Frank

October 20, 2021

This week, in our study in Colossians, in verse 6, there is a command to “walk in Him.”  And then what follows is an explanation of what is expected and what that looks like…a walk in Him.  I am reminded of an old hymn called O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee.  The words are:

 

O Master, let me walk with thee

In lowly paths of service free;

Tell me Thy secret, help me to bear

The strain of toil, the fret of care.

 

Teach me Thy patience; still with Thee

In closer, dearer company,

In work that keeps faith sweet and strong,

In trust that triumphs over wrong.

 

Walking by faith with the Lord can be a walk that challenges our pragmatism.  It doesn’t always make sense because a walk with the Lord can be costly and take us places we never intended to go.  We must think clearly about the faithfulness of God and His care for us in circumstances that take us out of our comfort zone.  This week we have a mission team in East St. Louis, Missouri.  They will be challenged by what they see and experiences they will have.  But God has them in a place where they can “walk” in fashion that is consistent with His will for their lives this week.  And by doing so, they have an opportunity to be used in way that will be useful to the folks there and bring glory to God in a way that they might not have done before.

 

It’s a real blessing to put yourself in a position to be useful to the Lord without considering the discomfort that might come from it.  And discomfort is often a reality, but it always brings a blessing.  Be praying, this week, for our team in Missouri, that they would be used in a great way for God’s glory.

 

We are sometimes so afraid of “senior moments” and the embarrassment that they can bring, that we protect our comfort zones and lose out on moments of service that fulfill God’s plan and purpose for our lives.  Don’t do it. 

 

Lord, help us to fulfill Your purpose for our lives today.  Let us walk with You in the path You have chosen.  May we live each day with great anticipation of what You will ask us to do, so that we can do it.

 

Blessings to you…

 

Pastor Frank

 

October 13, 2021       

 

Fanny Crosby wrote,

 

With numberless blessings each moment He crowns,

And filled with His fullness divine,

I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God

For such a Redeemer as mine!

 

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock

That shadows a dry, thirsty land;

He hideth my life in the depths of His love,

And covers me there with His hand,

And covers me there with His hand.

 

It’s a great hymn and it reminds us of God’s glory and power, and His ability to protect and provide according to His resources.  The hymn is based on Exodus 33:22 where Moses is having a conversation with God and asking to see His glory.  And the Lord says to Moses that “no man can see Me and live.” Vs. 20.  So, in verses 21-23, God says to Moses, “…Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.  Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.”

 

Moses was asking God for something that God knew would be harmful to him.  And God provided a way that would protect Moses from harm.  In our own weakness and lack of understanding, God provides for our needs.  In times of fear brought on by “Senior Moments” we sometimes make requests of God that He knows don’t represent our need in that moment.  It is truly wonderful to know that He hides us with His hand and provides for us exactly what we need.  He has promised to do that in Philippians 4:19, “…according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

 

So, walk today assured that God is with you and that He knows your needs better than you know them yourself.  He loves you and will care for you and will provide for you.  What a blessing to walk with Him in the shadow of His hand.

 

Blessings to you.

 

Pastor Frank

 

October 6, 2021

 

In Revelation 22:8 and following we read,

 

“…I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things.  But he said to me, ‘Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book.  Worship God.’ “

 

Wow!!  That is really something.  That verse sums up major problems in our lives that lead to “senior moments,” no matter how old or young you might be.  The angel here is saying that we need to pay attention and make sure that our focus is appropriately directed.  So, the Apostle John is being shown so many fantastic and wonderful things, and he is being instructed to write it all down, and he is so overwhelmed at what he is seeing that he falls on his knees to worship the one who is revealing all of this, and the angel says, stop it…get your focus in the right place and worship God.

 

Now, when you think about it, our lives are fantastic.  In spite of all the problems and challenges around us, God has shown us and given us so much.  And we try to manipulate it all in such a way as to make our lives better and to be in control of all that we see and touch.  But He has given us His Word, which gives us everything we need “for life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3) He has poured into us all that we need to live this life and to enter into eternal life with Him.  What a tremendous thought.  The problem is that we become so enamored with our own abilities and strength, that we lose sight of the most important thing that we can do on this earth…worship God. 

 

And by failing to do that really well, we engage in “senior moments” that make us look foolish and demonstrate how weak we really are.  Stop.  Think.  Remember who you are and your purpose for being here.  The only way we can really fulfill our purpose is to begin by appropriately worshipping God.  Get that down first and all the rest of life will fall into place.  It’s what the angel was trying to tell John…stop looking at me and all the wonderful things I have shown you, and worship God…then you will understand all the rest and be able to communicate what God wants.

 

Remember these words?

 

O worship the King, all glorious above, And gratefully sing His wonderful love;

Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days, Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.

 

Our prayer today…Father, we are grateful for You…we love You…and we worship You.  Cause us to remember in the middle of life’s distractions, that our primary purpose is to worship You.  You are worthy.  Thank you for loving us.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank

September 29, 2021   

I’m teaching through the letter to the Colossians right now in our Wednesday evening Grace University.  We start this evening, and we will be looking at Paul’s greeting to people he had never met.  His letter was in response to the moving of the Holy Spirit and what he had heard about the church.  Paul begins by thanking the Lord for them and praying for them because he had heard of their faith in Christ and the love which they had demonstrated for other saints.  (vs. 4)

 

His initial response was to what they had displayed and to what had become their reputation.  They had demonstrated faith in their lives and had a reputation for loving the saints.  Now, there were problems, and Paul will address those in the letter, but his first comment about them was to reveal what others had seen.

 

Our lives are filled with many components…personality, jobs, relationships, hobbies, origin, etc.  The list can be long as we seek to identify ourselves.  But God has given us a new identity and that is found in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).  Are we mostly thought of in terms of that or of the multitude of other characteristics that we display?  What is most important to us and what do people see?  When people think of me, do they think faith and love…or something else?  It doesn’t have to be bad…but is it faith and love?

 

In 1924, B.B. McKinney wrote,

 

While passing through the world of sin, and others your life shall view,

Be clean and pure without, within, Let others see Jesus in you.

 

Your life’s a book before their eyes, they’re reading it through and through;

Say, does it point them to the skies, do others see Jesus in you?

 

Let others see Jesus in you, Let other see Jesus in you;

Keep telling the story, be faithful and true, Let others see Jesus in you.

 

Seeing Jesus in us is a guarantee of others characterizing us with the terms faith and love.  So a relationship with Jesus is the key. 

 

Lord, help us to always think of Jesus and our walk with Him.  May we always exhibit faith and love in our walk.  Would you use those characteristics to draw people unto Yourself through us.  What a blessing that would be.

 

Blessings,

 

Pastor Frank

September 22, 2021

 

Consider this: For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. 1Corinthians 1:26-29.

 

…”So that no man may boast before God”…is the statement in these verses that really spoke to me…especially in light of what we dread…”senior moments.”  We do dread them because they indicate weakness as the result of long life.  And knowing that sometimes we display more independence before God than we ought, we need that reminder that He doesn’t really need us for anything.  When you look at this passage, you see that God will probably do the opposite of what we think is best.  The world, who think very highly of themselves, is going to be shocked when they see that God is going to use the weak to accomplish His task. 

 

So even in the weakness of my “senior moment,” God can and will still use me for His purpose.  I might not even be aware. So, you see, it is not so important that I evaluate my strengths and weaknesses, because I might not even fully understand them.  It is important that I make myself available to be used by Him for His purposes according to His will.  No second guessing, no argumentation…just obedience.

 

Do you remember this old hymn?

 

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit as His feet

Or we’ll walk by His side in the way?  What He says we will do,

Where He sends we will go: Never fear, only trust and obey.

 

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus,

But to trust and obey.

 

He might use us in our weakness to accomplish His task.  He might use us in our sickness to accomplish His task.  He might use us in our old age to accomplish His task.  Our job is not to evaluate our fitness in the moment, but to obey and trust Him for the outcome.

 

Blessings to you.

 

Pastor Frank

September 15, 2021
 

God is not someone to be challenged in the arrogance of our puny abilities. Yet sometimes we seem to do just that when we question our calling as believers or walk in fear relative to things we don’t understand. He says in His Word in Isaiah 46:8-9,

 

“Remember this, and be assured;
Recall it to mind, you transgressors.
Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me.”

 

This is the God that we serve.  There is nothing hidden from Him in the past, in the present, or in the Future.  He has control which should bring us great comfort in times of trial.  It doesn’t mean that there will be no trials…it does mean that He will be with us in them. 

 

There is an interesting hymn written by William Poole in 1907, that really sums up a walk with Him.  It says,

 

Just when I need him, he is my all,
Answering when upon him I call;
Tenderly watching lest I should fall,
Just when I need him most.

Just when I need him most,
Just when I need him most;
Jesus is near to comfort and cheer,
Just when I need him most.
 

 

The more excellent news is that His presence is not limited to just when I need Him most…He is there at all times, in every season.  He is there in joy and in sorrow…in health and in disease…at all times, He is there. In our “senior moments” we tend to forget things that we think are important to us at that particular time.  Let us not ever forget that God is with us, He cares for us, and He loves us more than we can even understand or articulate.  What a blessing!!

 

Father, may we walk in such a way as to demonstrate our faith in You and Your care for us.  May the world see that we trust You and that our faith gives us strength to walk in the peace that surpasses understanding.  Thank You for loving us and caring for us.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank

September 8, 2021     

 

I was reading this morning in Ephesians 5, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” What a powerful reminder for us in these difficult days. To be an imitator of God has tremendous impact on those with whom we come in contact, as well as ourselves.

 

Imitating God gives us a tremendous opportunity to be a witness to those with whom we come in contact. What happens is that they see Christ in us and are encouraged to follow him because of our witness. I’m not just talking about what they see in our lives, but what they hear coming from our lips. While our lifestyle is a valuable witness, what we say is most likely what the Lord will use in our lives to draw folks unto himself.

 

Imitating God is also valuable witness in our own lives. When we follow Him and model our lives after His ways, we are encouraged and are strengthened in our own walk. This is encouraged in the last three chapters of the book of Ephesians. So imitating God gives us a great testimony to others, but it also is a great encouragement to ourselves. Another way that we are encouraged in imitating God is in the words that we say. If we are continually negative in our speech and saying things that are inconsistent with God’s will, we will walk in discouragement and not experience the blessings of the Lord.

 

This is where the “senior moment” comes in to play.  We might forget functionally who we are in Christ as a result of what we say with our mouths.  Nothing has changed, but our momentary discouragement becomes more of an experiential reality because of the negativity of our own words.  This is the way a testimony works.  Good fruit is the result of a positive testimony and bad fruit is the result of the negative.  See how this works? 

 

So, the best ammunition against the negative “senior moment” is to be constantly bathing ourselves in the truth of God’s Word.  Quoting Scripture and reminding ourselves of the things that we have seen to be true throughout our lives in Christ, is good medicine to defeat the discouragement that comes from “senior moments.” 

 

Remind yourself today that Christ is with you.  He promised to be in the end of Matthew’s Gospel, when He said, “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  What a great reminder…and it’s true…He is with us now.  Remembering what Jesus has said, and living according to those truths, is a great way to imitate God. 

 

Lord, help us to remember today that You are with us and to reminds ourselves of that truth.  May we not grow weary as a result of all that rages in the world because we know that You are over the world and that we are in your hand.  We love you so much and are so grateful that we belong to You.  Help us share that good news with those around us.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank

September 1, 2021

 

Fear is a powerful force…one that no one wants to acknowledge in their life.  I think that is why the proverbial “senior moment” is such a negative.  It instills fear and demonstrates lack of control.  The truth is, most of our lives are lived completely out of control and we fool ourselves into believing that we are in control much of the time.  The Lord has probably protected us and preserved us in many situations in which we have no idea relative to His participation. 

 

How many bacteria or viruses have you been exposed to while eating in a restaurant or being overseas that didn’t make you sick.  Any idea? No.  How many times did you avoid an accident because you went back into the house to fetch that item that you forgot?  Don’t know.  How many thousands of interactions have you been protected from that might have been harmful to you?  I have no clue. 

 

The truth is, we have no idea most of the time about God’s interaction in our lives.  How He protects, or how He encourages, or how He works is often unknown to us.  Might it be important for us to be paying more attention to the course of our lives so that we could possibly see His work in progress?  Some of us live life on cruise control to the extent that we really don’t pay that much attention.  So much so that we just take for granted that we’re doing well without really thinking about how God is working.

 

I am challenged by this idea because I think that I am as guilty of taking God for granted as much as anyone.  And I think I need to stop doing it.  There is nothing like a good crisis in your life to sharpen your attention on God’s presence and providence for our lives.  I guess my counsel is to not wait for the crisis but begin to pay close attention right now.  I think “senior moments” are pretty normal for most of us as we age.  Nothing really to be alarmed about.  We just don’t like it because we think it makes us look dumb or out of control.  Actually, I think it’s an indicator of fear and weakness.  We should just acknowledge it and admit we are afraid.  But we don’t need to be.  The words of this hymn remind me of whose I am…

 

In the lightning flash across the sky his mighty power I see,
And I know if he can reign on high, his light can shine on me.
 
When the thunder shakes the mighty hills and trembles every tree,
Then I know a God so great and strong can surely harbor me.

 

I’ve seen it in the lightning, heard it in the thunder, and felt it in the rain;
My Lord is near me all the time, My Lord is near me all the time.

 

Father, thank you for being with us at all times.  Help us to rely on You and to be watchful for your activity in our lives so that we can appropriately give you glory for all that You do. What a faithful and loving Father You are.  Thank You for freedom from fear that leads to a lack of faith. Thank You.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank

 

August 25, 2021

 
I’ve had the lyrics to a song floating around in my head all day.  The song is called “The Steadfast Love of the Lord.” Great lyrics and great challenge for us all.

 

The Steadfast Love Of The Lord Never Ceases,
His Mercies Never Come To An End,
They Are New Every Morning, New Every Morning
Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Oh Lord)
Great Is Thy Faithfulness

 

Great lyrics.  And a great reminder for us all in times like these.  We seem to be inundated with bad news all around us.  The world is at war.  No peace.  Illness is everywhere.  No peace.  The future is uncertain.  No peace.  But in the middle of all this uncertainty…there is the steadfast love of the Lord that never changes.  He is with us every minute of every day.  And as we arise to face new days, His love is new every morning. 

 

The Scripture reminds us in Lamentations 3,

This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.”
 
 

The tendency for us is to evaluate life based on how we feel and the experiences of the day.  Never forget that He is with you and that life is determined by Him, and that His love for us never fails.  That’s a great reminder in times like these…that just reminded me of another song!! I’ll save that for another day.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank

August 18, 2021

 

Slow down!!  Do you remember saying that a million times to your children…or someone else’s children?  Slow down! You’re going to fall!  Slow down! You’re going to break something!  Slow down! You’re going to knock someone over!  And then there were the…walk faster…you’ve got to keep up…what’s the matter with you…are you sleeping???  All these admonitions coming from us or being thrown our way are emblematic of our lives.  There always seems to be displeasure with the pace of the world and those who are walking in it with us. 

 

We get frustrated and take note of those who are walking with us when they don’t follow the pace that we set.  I often wonder what the Lord thinks about us relative to pace.  Our pace is not a surprise to Him since He knows everything from beginning to end.  It’s not like He is disappointed or surprised since He knew before we started, our decisions in life.  Disappointment requires an unmet expectation, and since He knows what we will do before we do it, His expectations of us are never a surprise.  But what does He think of the pace that we keep and what should be our response to His expectations?

 

1 Peter 2:21, says, “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps…”  Could it be that the pace is not as important as the steps themselves?  I believe that the Lord is not looking necessarily at our pace, like we do with our children or others who walk with us.  He is looking more at our obedience, or whether we are considering His steps and the example that they have given us.  In other words, it’s not the speed we walk, but the accuracy with which we follow in His footsteps.  You may ask, “what does that look like?”  The question that needs to be answered in each of our lives is, “do my attitude and actions reflect the mind of Christ or do they just simply bring pleasure to me based on my expectations of life?” 

 

It’s a great question and one that will bring answers that will lead to change or confirm the steps of our lives right now.  I’m grateful for God’s Word and His Spirit.  These blessings are the source of knowledge that will lead us in the paths of righteousness.

 

Thank you, Lord, for not leaving us alone and giving us no direction.  Thank you that your admonitions are not condemnatory in nature but encouraging and equipping.  Thank you for being with us moment by moment and for the instruction of your Word and the empowering of your Spirit.  May we walk faithfully.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank

August 11, 2021

 

It’s been a great week for watching and observing the faithfulness of our Lord.  We saw many come to Christ this past Saturday during the Grace Boom Bash.  God continues to save folks in spite of what some say about the effectiveness of the Gospel and the work of the Church.  It’s truly amazing to see that people are being saved all around the world, and even in places where their salvation could cost their lives. 

 

It’s a miracle.  Have you ever noticed that when God does something it is never “too much” or “not enough?”  When I do things, they always seem to be a little out of line.  My “too much” is never a good thing…it always leads to some problematic outcome.  And my “not enough” sort of speaks for itself.  That’s why our “senior moments” bother us so much.  They can create both of these extremes and the outcome creates a problem for us.  The problem is that we focus too much on performance and not enough on obedience.  It is obedience that glorifies the Lord and takes the attention away from the performance.  Our consistent obedient witness might be more important than how many decisions for Christ we see.  The number is neither “too much” or “not enough.”

 

There is a hymn that really sums up the activity of our Father.  The words of the verses are really great, and the chorus makes a powerful statement.

 

My faith has found a resting place, not in device nor creed;

I trust the Ever-living One, His wounds for me shall plead.

 

Enough for me that Jesus saves, this ends my fear and doubt;

A sinful soul I come to him, He’ll never cast me out.

 

And then here’s the chorus:

 

I need no other argument, I need no other plea,

It is enough that Jesus died, And that he died for me.

 

The Lord provided all that we needed for salvation.  Not “too much” or “not enough.”  It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me and you.

 

Thank you, Father for providing that which is enough for our salvation.  Your perfect provision in every aspect of life is all we need and gives us comfort in the midst of the fear brought on by senior moments.  Help us focus on obedience and not performance.  Thank you for the peace that surpasses understanding.

 

Blessings,

 

Pastor Frank

August 4, 2021

 

I had an interesting “senior moment” yesterday.  The kind that you don’t really want to have.  I could not remember the name of someone I know very well.  She’s a co-worker here at the church.  Her name is not difficult…it’s only 4 letters.  I’ve known her since being here and I see her every day.  As a matter of fact, she sits just outside my office door.  How does that happen???

 

Isn’t it great to know that we walk with the Lord and that He doesn’t forget us or anything about us for even one nanosecond??  When the Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, He told him that, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”  (Jeremiah 1:5) 

 

Now the same thing is true for us.  He knew us before we were born, and He has a plan and purpose for our lives.  We decide to obey or disobey…whether to trust Him and walk with Him and glorify Him…or make ourselves the focus of attention.  If we are the point, we will never know the fullness of His purpose for our path here.  What a shame.  I am reminded of the hymn from years ago that declares:

 

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.

 

Consider anew today what it might be that the Lord has for you and never forget that His presence and His awareness of you never ceases.  No “senior moments for the Lord.  Aren’t you glad?

 

Father, thank you for your never ending presence in our lives today.  You are the same yesterday, today, and forever and we are grateful.  Thank you for knowing us, loving us, and being with us in every moment.  May we honor you today and every day for your glory.

 

Blessings,

 

Pastor Frank

July 28, 2021

 

Read here the second verse of the old hymn, “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded.”

 

What thou, my Lord, hast suffered, Was all for sinners’ gain:
Mine, mine was the transgression, But thine the deadly pain;
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ‘Tis I deserve thy place;
Look on me with thy favor, Vouch-safe to me thy grace.

 

In my Senior Moment today, I want to reflect on the sacrifice that was made on my behalf and the suffering that He endured for my salvation.  I think that often we lose sight of what He actually endured for our benefit.  Now I understand that what Christ did, He did for the glory of the Father (Philippians 2:11), but the result made possible our salvation.  And I also think that often we tune out the horror of it so that we don’t experience the depth of our sin.  I am a sinner.  I have committed thousands of them and only one of them made me unfit for Heaven.  So, He bore the depth of my sin and yours, on the cross that day (2 Corinthians 5:21). 

 

What a tremendous thing to do…give His life so that we may live.  The question then becomes, “am I living today in a fashion that demonstrates my gratitude for that gift?” I think that we become so consumed with the mundane activities of life that we lose sight of the tremendous cost of our salvation.  Could it be true that we go through even one day and never seriously think about the cost?  We go to the bank…we go to the grocery store…we go to the mall…we go out to eat…we visit friends…we go to church???  What? We go to church and never seriously consider the cost?  Could it be true?  Sometimes, I think, we go through the vicissitudes of life without even a thought for what our Lord endured to make it possible for “abundant life.” 

 

Hebrews 13:15-16 records the attitude we should adopt when it challenges us to, “Through Him the, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thinks to His name.  And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

 

Lord Jesus, thank you for your sacrifice for our salvation.  Help us to remember daily the tremendous cost and the pain endured.  We want to walk faithfully in your path for your glory.  Father, thank you for the plan that made our salvation possible.  What a blessing it is to know you and to be known by you.  Our desire is to bring glory to you every day of our lives.

 

Blessings,

 

Pastor Frank

 

July 20, 2021 
 
 

This is the first in a series of blurbs (that’s what we used to call them…I guess now they are blogs), that I’ll be writing to celebrate “senior moments.”  Now all of us of a certain age have experienced what we call “senior moments” and it usually refers to something that we have forgotten or cannot remember in that particular circumstance…and we use that term to excuse the moment.  There’s a lot of discussion about how normal that is at a certain age, but no one seems to know what age it is that it becomes normal.  As a matter of fact, I can remember using the terminology when I was quite young…especially when I had forgotten to do something that Teresa had asked me to do.  “I’m sorry dear…it was a senior moment.”  The only problem was…  I was 31 at the time…!

 

What I want to do here, is to use this space as a reminder of God’s faithfulness…God’s graciousness…God’s goodness…God’s salvation…God’s forgiveness…God’s blessings…God’s longsuffering nature…God’s generosity.  And the list goes on and on. 

 

Today I am reminded of God’s great faithfulness.  I often think of that hymn we used to sing…

 

Great is thy faithfulness,
O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with thee;
Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not;
As thou hast been thou forever wilt be.

 

In Lamentations 3:22-23, we read, “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” No senior moment there for any of us who are paying attention.  God’s faithfulness can be observed with very little effort.  Pray to the Lord right now and begin to recite all the evidence of His faithfulness in your life today and in recent days. 

 

Thank you, Lord, for loving us and caring for us and for making it easily seen.  You are so faithful, and we are so grateful.  Thank You.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank